Meal Seç / Sure Seç

93 - AD-DUHA
In the name of god, the most gracious, The dispenser of grace: (1)

1 - According to most of the authorities, this invocation (which occurs at the beginning of every surah with the exception of surah 9) constitutes an integral part of "The Opening" and is, therefore, numbered as verse I. In all other instances, the invocation "in the name of God" precedes the surah as such, and is not counted among its verses. - Both the divine epithets rahman and rahrm are derived from the noun rahmah, which signifies "mercy", "compassion", "loving tenderness" and, more comprehensively, "grace". From the very earliest times, Islamic scholars have endeavoured to define the exact shades of meaning which differentiate the two terms. The best and simplest of these explanations is undoubtedly the one advanced by Ibn al-Qayyim (as quoted in Mandr I, 48): the term rahman circumscribes the quality of abounding grace inherent in, and inseparable from, the concept of God's Being, whereas rahrm expresses the manifestation of that grace in, and its effect upon, His creation-in other words, an aspect of His activity.

IT IS SAID that after surah 89 (Al-Fajr) was revealed, some time elapsed during which the Prophet did not receive any revelation, and that his opponents in Mecca taunted him on this score, saying, "Thy God has forsaken and scorned thee!" - whereupon the present surah was revealed. Whether or not we accept this somewhat doubtful story, there is every reason to assume that the surah as such, although in the first instance addressed to the Prophet, has a far wider purport: it concerns - and is meant to console - every faithful man and woman suffering from the sorrows and bitter hardships which so often afflict the good and the innocent, and which sometimes cause even the righteous to question God's transcendental justice.
1. CONSIDER the bright morning hours,
2. and the night when it grows still and dark. (1)

1 - The expression "bright morning hours" apparently symbolizes the few and widely-spaced periods of happiness in human life, as contrasted with the much greater length of "the night when it grows still and dark", i.e., the extended periods of sorrow or suffering that, as a rule, overshadow man's existence in this world (cf. 90 : 4). The further implication is that, as sure as morning follows night, God's mercy is bound to lighten every suffering, either in this world or in the life to come - for God has "willed upon Himself the law of grace and mercy" (6:12 and 54).

3. Thy Sustainer has not forsaken thee, nor does He scorn thee: (2)

2 - Sc., ''as the thoughtless might conclude in view of the suffering that He has willed thee to bear".

4. for, indeed, the life to come will be better for thee than this earlier part [of thy life]!
5. And, indeed, in time will thy Sustainer grant thee [what thy heart desires], and thou shalt be well-pleased.
6. Has He not found thee an orphan, and given thee shelter? (3)

3 - Possibly an allusion to the fact that Muhammad was born a few months after his father's death, and that his mother died when he was only six years old. Apart from this, however, every human being is an "orphan" in one sense or another, inasmuch as everyone is "created in a lonely state" (cf. 6:94), and "will appear before Him on Resurrection Day in a lonely state" (19:95).

7. And found thee lost on thy way, and guided thee?
8. And found thee in want, and given thee sufficiency?
9. Therefore, the orphan shalt thou never wrong,
10. and him that seeks [thy] help shalt thou never chide, (4)

4 - The term sa'il denotes" literally, "one who asks", which signifies not only a "beggar" but anyone who asks for help in a difficult situation, whether physical or moral, or even for enlightenment.

11. and of thy Sustainer's blessings shalt thou [ever] speak. (5)

5 - Sc., "rather than of thy suffering".